Honduras Lifts Longtime Ban on ‘Morning After’ Pills

Honduras Lifts Longtime Ban on ‘Morning After’ Pills

But not all Hondurans were supportive of the president’s order, and some weren’t even aware of it. In the country’s capital of Tegucigalpa, near the Hospital Escuela, the largest assistance center in Honduras, few people knew of the approval.

Sandra Sierra, 30, a domestic worker, said she opposed the president’s order.

“It is dangerous for their health,” Ms. Sierra said of the pills’ effects. While emergency contraceptive pills may cause side effects, such as nausea and vomiting, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has deemed it safe to use when taken as instructed.

Ana María Cáceres, 42, a street vendor and a mother of three children, was accompanying her 20-year-old daughter to a pregnancy consultation when she learned of the announcement. Her daughter is six months pregnant with her second child.

“As long as there has been a rape, it’s fine because there are women who, if they’ve been abused, don’t want to have a child,” Ms. Cáceres said. “But when it’s like that for pleasure, no.”

The use of emergency contraception in Honduras has been long opposed by major Christian congregations, which have argued that such pills could terminate an established pregnancy.

Those groups have cited the label of Plan B One-Step, a popular emergency contraceptive in the United States. The pill’s package says it is possible for the medication to stop a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterus. However, scientific evidence has not supported that idea; in December, the F.D.A. announced that it would clarify information on widely used emergency contraceptive pills to say that they do not stop a fertilized egg from implanting in the womb. The agency explained that such products cannot be described as abortion pills.

The wording change by the F.D.A. came months after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, eliminating the constitutional right to an abortion, and amid concerns from abortion rights advocates that conservative states could limit or ban the use of morning-after pills.

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